Derrick Rose & Dwyane Wade: Two Chicago sons torn apart by opposing destiny

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There is something poetic about the events that have transpired in Chicago so far this summer.

Tupac Shakur once said: "Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete?" Well, Derrick Rose emerged from the hardwood in Chicago and finally gave the city hope that there was life after Michael Jordan.

After MJ's final championship win with the Bulls in 1998, the franchise took a six-year sabbatical from the postseason and were a lottery team for five of those.

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Scott Skiles would improve their fortunes and bring playoff basketball back to the United Center, but it wasn't until Vinny Del Negro got a hold of a rookie named Derrick Rose that their fortunes truly began to change.

A Rookie of the Year honour followed for the young point guard, who had been born and raised in Englewood, one of the most dangerous parts on the south side of the city. He was only beginning to scratch his talented surface.

When Tom Thibodeau took up the reigns in the Windy City, business really began to pick up. Rose would become the youngest ever winner of the regular season MVP award at 22 years of age and drove the Bulls to the top seed in the east for the first time since Jordan's '98 heroics.

Finally, the Bulls had arrived again. Not only did they have a superstar and a leader, but he was one of their own. He was one of the people. An ardent Bulls fan growing up just like the rest of the paying customers that now watched him dazzle the floor.

They would lose in the Eastern Conference Finals that year to a LeBron James-inspired Miami Heat, but they would resume their place at the top of the conference by the end of the next regular season to face the eighth-seeded Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs.

This is where it all went wrong.

Rose had his first injury interrupted season during the 2011-12 campaign as it was, and his production fell from 25 points a night to 21.8 in the 39 times he did manage to suit up.

However, he looked to be back to his fluid best in game one against the Sixers, nearing a triple-double with only 1:22 left on the clock. Disaster struck when an awkward landing resulted in a torn ACL in his left knee which would effectively rob him off the next two years of his career.

The native-son would never replicate his MVP form in the following four years, and after the injury problems continued to build and he entered the final year of his deal, it was time for Chicago to release their son into the wild.

The 27-year-old was traded to the New York Knicks; a historic franchise down on their luck in desperate need of rejuvenation. In some ways, the pairing mirrored each other in fortunes and in turn, renewed optimism.

As one hometown-hero was cast aside and confined to history, another one was welcomed home with open, adoring arms.

Dwyane Wade spent his entire career with the Miami Heat. At 34-years-old, and arguably, one of the greatest shooting guards of all-time, he has played a vital role in making the Heat what they are today.

He played a pivotal part in all three of the organisation's championship wins and, much like Kobe was to the Lakers, he was a symbol of the franchise.

But not anymore. After years of making personal sacrifices for the betterment of Miami, Wade was tired of being overlooked and under-appreciated. In departing South Beach, there was only ever one place the 12-time All-Star wanted to go.

Home. Back to his roots. Back to Chicago.

It's almost easy to forget that the 2006 Finals MVP was born in the south side of Chicago given how synonymous he has become with Miami. But, make no mistake, this is a homecoming with ambitious intent.

It's not some kind of retirement tour; Wade wants to bring a championship to Chi-Town and believes that along with Rajon Rondo and Jimmy Butler, he can do just that.

Given the heartache that led to Rose's demise with his hometown franchise, will the more seasoned, well-travelled hero in Wade return home and breath new life into the city just like his good friend LeBron did for Cleveland?

Derrick Rose
Chicago Bulls
Central Division
Eastern Conference
Derrick Rose
Jimmy Butler
Miami Heat
Southeast Division
Dwyane Wade

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